To Pay or Not To PayPosted by in media
My morning routine consists of two to three cups of coffee while scanning through a wide variety of news sites, including The New York Times (local news), The Wall Street Journal (business news), BBC (international news), and Gawker (for good measure). Within the past few weeks, however, my tried and true schedule was disrupted when I received a notice on the Times website saying that I had surpassed my allotted 20 articles per month limit. Bummer.
It’s been about a month since The New York Times launched its pay-to-read online subscription plan, which costs $15/ four weeks for a desktop/laptop and smartphone bundle, $20/ four weeks for desktop, laptop and tablet or $35/ four weeks for “all digital access.” Already they have secured 100,000 online subscribers – a substantial number so far, though it’s not even half of the total they must reach in the first quarter to maintain profitability.
Having read The New York Times for free for the past several years makes the new price tag hard to swallow. I’m not against paying for good, solid journalism but this move has made me think twice about my loyalty to the publication. Given the still-rocky economic times and decline of American readership in general, it seems that the news giant will likely lose readers (including me) and its influence over the national debate could lessen.
Only time will tell if this new business model will increase profitability while maintaining readership. For me, $35 a month seems like too much for me to pay for a single news source. But, on the flip side, Google News has not been able to sufficiently fill the information gap I now experience. What are your thoughts – will The New York Times subscription service impact your news consumption?